Germany election 2021: How the voting system works – key dates, times, etc

German election could lead to "collision" in coalition government

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Angela Merkel’s 16 years in office will come to an end shortly. When Germans take to the polling booth to vote, the Chancellor of Germany’s name will not appear on the voting ballot. It comes after Ms Merkel announced she would step down from her role in October 2018. Here are the key dates for the German elections 2021.

What are the key timings for the German elections?

The German federal elections will take place on September 26, 2021.

On September 26, German voters will elect the Bundestag, which is the lower house of the federal parliament.

Voting in person takes place on September 26, but some votes have already been cast.

Postal votes are made well in advance, but these will be counted together with the in-person votes made on the day.

Germany’s winning party will be announced that night once the votes have been counted.

Unlike in the UK where coalitions are a rarity, in Germany they are common.

The election results won’t produce an outright majority party.

Which parties make up the next Government, will therefore take longer to decide.

The make-up of the next parliament will only be announced once the winning party can form an absolute majority.

This will usually see the winning party negotiate and combine with one or two other parties.

How is the chancellor selected?

The German Chancellor, currently Angela Merkel, is selected by the party which wins the most seats.

But creating a coalition can take some time.

Once a coalition is agreed upon, the newly elected parliament will hold a vote to approve the new chancellor.

Unlike in the UK, the parliamentary leader is not automatically the leader of the party who secured the largest amount of votes.

Technically German MPs vote for their chancellor, but this will undoubtedly be the leader of the coalition.

Which parties will likely form the next coalition parliament in Germany?

Currently, three parties believe they could win enough seats to become the winning party.

The latest opinion polls suggest these three main parties could be in with a serious chance of winning enough seats to lead a coalition Government:

  • Ms Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union
  • Social Democratic Party
  • Greens

But whoever wins will have to put together a coalition as no party is predicted to win an outright majority.

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